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Old 10-06-2014, 06:58   #1
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ST 6001 forgot its deviation

Last Friday my chartplotter showed the boat going sideways from right to left. No, I had not had any beers at that moment.

It turned out that ST6001 Smartpilot had lost its compass alignment and had a deviation of 100 deg (plotter takes direction of keel from HDG and direction from COG). Bypassing the compass swing calibration and realigning the heading with COG from plotter helper, but next morning I had a deviation of 30 degrees and had to align again.

It seems (not sure) that other settings were not lost.

So, what's going on? The unit is 10 years old, is there a memory battery for compass somewhere that needs to be changed? Or what?
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Old 10-06-2014, 08:43   #2
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Re: ST 6001 forgot its deviation

Tuomas,
Not sure what autopilot corepak/course computer you have (the ST6001 is the control head, yes?), but I suspect a Type 100/150, or a Type 300/400???
And, although it is rare, the heading sensors sometimes need to be "recalibrated" / "deviated", every half-dozen years....


But, regardless....
What is going on, is that you need to do the compass deviation ("swing compass") step...not bypass it...as this is what calibrates the compass / heading sensor...
Quote:
Originally Posted by tuomas View Post
Bypassing the compass swing calibration and realigning the heading with COG from plotter helper, but next morning I had a deviation of 30 degrees and had to align again.

So, what's going on? The unit is 10 years old, is there a memory battery for compass somewhere that needs to be changed? Or what?
If after doing this compass deviation / swing compass, you still have a problem, then you may have an autopilot problem...



Other possibilities are that some ferrous metal, or something magnetic, has been added to your boat???
Or maybe a close lightning strike???

(I had a family member, stow a can of shaving cream down under a locker and it rolled under the locker and ended up 12" away from my heading sensor...screwing up my autopilot compass....it only took me a few minutes to find it....but, I've heard of others that have paid 1000's of $$$$ on new autopilots, only to find something simple like a can of soup had rolled into the bilge, etc. and caused a heading error problem...)


Again, not knowing what corepak you have, I cannot be specific....but, in general they do NOT have a "memory battery"...


I hope this helps...


John
s/v Annie Laurie
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Old 10-06-2014, 13:11   #3
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Re: ST 6001 forgot its deviation

Thanks John. I tried to see the type of the course computer but could not find it.

In fact yesterday I did the swing calibration before coming ashore. Driving north was ok but turning east i had a deviation of about 10 deg. This may be normal. My idea is to see on next weekend if the computer still remembers the calibration.

Do you have any clue why the compass needs to be recalibrated...
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Old 12-06-2014, 12:04   #4
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Re: ST 6001 forgot its deviation

I went through two months of this. Sometimes weeks would go by with no problem, then alll of sudden, the boat takes a sudden turn as the compass heading changes for no reason.

Checked cables to the fluxgate compass numerous times, as the problem seemed intermittent.

Many times the boat would be fine, but if it took one big roll for any reason, all of a sudden the compass was totally off, sometimes by 100 degrees.

In times of desperation, I would try to run it that way, but sooner or later, the boat would make a sudden turn as the compass heading changed abruptly.

I did look for those proverbial cans of soup; many times.

I spent hours turning in circles trying to recalibrate it. Sometimes it worked, other times not.

I did't spend $thousands$ to fix it, only because i didn't have the $$ to spend.

Finally, after one really annoying morning spent going in circles, I went down to the cabin to check the connections again and i realized just on the other side of the cabinet was a little battery powered LED, so I moved that and as I did, my hand touched the end of the cell phone charge cord dangling off the night stand, probably inches form the compass

I knew then and there that was it, as the light was always there, but the cord many times would be on the night stand, and then in some seas would fall off to dangle right by the compass.

It's worked great since I unplug the charger now when not is use.

Look for every simple solution you can befor you do anything major.
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Old 12-06-2014, 23:06   #5
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Re: ST 6001 forgot its deviation

Thanks Richard.

I've also seen these small course changes during past years. I do not know if they are related. But they are nasty as you cannot fully trust the autopilot.

Factors that may effect my problem are the new Sterling charger that puts is considerable amps near the fluxgate head (although on the first sail of this year with the charger operating there were absolutely no problems and I do not see any changes in deviation when I switch the engine off.)
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Old 13-06-2014, 06:21   #6
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Re: ST 6001 forgot its deviation

Quote:
Originally Posted by tuomas View Post
Thanks Richard.

I've also seen these small course changes during past years. I do not know if they are related. But they are nasty as you cannot fully trust the autopilot.

Factors that may effect my problem are the new Sterling charger that puts is considerable amps near the fluxgate head (although on the first sail of this year with the charger operating there were absolutely no problems and I do not see any changes in deviation when I switch the engine off.)


I would move your Fluxgate before you do anything else.

A charger is a big magnet, powered or not.
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Old 13-06-2014, 06:42   #7
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Re: ST 6001 forgot its deviation

Quote:
Originally Posted by tuomas View Post
Thanks Richard.

I've also seen these small course changes during past years. I do not know if they are related. But they are nasty as you cannot fully trust the autopilot.

Factors that may effect my problem are the new Sterling charger that puts is considerable amps near the fluxgate head (although on the first sail of this year with the charger operating there were absolutely no problems and I do not see any changes in deviation when I switch the engine off.)
Are you running a charger while underway?
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Old 03-08-2014, 06:56   #8
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Re: ST 6001 forgot its deviation

To conclude this, after a reply from raymarine (finally) and holiday sail of 5 weeks:

- Raymarine confirms there is no memory battery in the course computer
- Raymarine says something vague on possibly oxidized connections and implicitly suggests buying a new fluxgate. Well, thanks for... nothing.
- recalibration I made was enough and the autopilot worked well. The fluxgate had just forgotten its settings.
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